rout the neck heel, or the neck pocket of the body?

Bob Hoover Ross

Senior member
Messages
142
As mentioned in an older thread
http://www.unofficialwarmoth.com/index.php?topic=1629
I have a Warmoth neck & body that have non-standard neck pocket dimensions (i.e., the size of the neck pocket & the neck heel do not conform to standard Fender specifications, and hence also don't conform to Warmoth, USAGuitars, AllParts, MightyMite, etc. dimensions).

It turns out to be one of Warmoth's older "Wide 5's", with heel dimensions that are ~3.8125" x 2.625". Standard Fender dims are ostensibly 3.875" x 2.5".

About a year ago I had Michael Dolan build me a custom 8-string neck to fit that body, and that wound up being an excellent solution. But I've still got that original Wide 5 fretless neck lying around, just begging to be built up into a new bass. Calling to me. Pleading.

Assuming I don't want to have to commision a luthier to build me a whole new body just to accomodate this neck with its non-standard heel dimensions (although that's certainly an option I'm entertaining), if I were to buy an off-the-shelf body from Warmoth, which is the better solution:

- Rout the neck pocket on the body just slightly larger to accomodate this neck as-is? or
- Rout the neck heel just slightly smaller to fit a standard body's pocket?

Since I don't own a router and am incompetant with power tools I'll probably still hire a luthier to do the work, I just want to get an idea of which approach would be more practical.

Thanks.
 

exalted

Senior member
Messages
723
Have you asked if Warmoth would be able to mod your body to fit the neck?

Might be cheaper than paying a luthier to do it.


And from what I've read, you never sand the neck - always the pocket. I don't know the thinking behind it, but I've never read the opposite.  :)
 

line6man

Senior member
Messages
6,443
From what i have heard, you never modify a neck heel.
If your neck is too big, sand the pocket to size.

The pocket on my Warmoth body was too small for the neck (I don't know why though, because it was a Warmoth neck on a Warmoth body) so i took it to my luthier, and he sanded the pocket for me no problem.
 

stubhead

Senior member
Messages
4,669
I agree that under "normal" circumstances, you'd always change the body - to keep the structural integrity of the neck. However, in this specific case, if you took 1/16" of an inch off each side of the neck, it would fit all the bodies you might want to put it on. I would do that, using hand tools, if it were mine... which it's not. It's a case-by-case situation - if I had a rare & valuable body, I would also retro-fit the neck if needed.
 

Death by Uberschall

Senior member
Messages
4,162
Unless there is a real good reason not to touch the neck, bring it down.

Fix the neck, not the body. Cures all problem for later down the road.
 

line6man

Senior member
Messages
6,443
If you modify the neck, you will also need to refinish the areas that you sand/route.
 

Bob Hoover Ross

Senior member
Messages
142
exalted said:
Have you asked if Warmoth would be able to mod your body to fit the neck?

In the context of my original discussion with Warmoth (trying to ascertain why these dims were non-standard) they essentally said they didn't do that sort of thing: they wouldn't build a body to fit the old neck dimensions.
 
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